In an email statement to VentureBeat, Volara Co-Founder and CEO Dave Berger said that via Alexa for Business, hotel guests can now make traditional phone calls, something that wasn’t available before. According to the report, hotel guests can tell Alexa to call the concierge or dial a mobile or landline phone number in the U.S. A trial of the expanded capabilities is currently being tested at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hotel in Arizona.
“Volara is going to replace the antiquated landline telephone that you find on every bedside table across the globe in hotels,” Berger said to VentureBeat. The report noted that the ability for Alexa to make calls on devices that are enabled with the technology came back in November of 2017 for business customers. While it has been used in conference rooms and at desks in the office, hotels are also ideal to provide this technology to guests.
“Alexa for Business allows management of the devices for the enterprise, so the ability to assign devices to rooms, the ability to turn the volume down if someone is playing their music too loud, the ability to clear and wipe the devices at checkout — all those kinds of enterprise management features are unique to the Alexa for Business platform,” Berger said. “If we just set up a device with the Alexa app and put it in a hotel room, that Alexa app is going to get recordings of every guest, which is a huge invasion of privacy. So, with Alexa for Business, we don’t get those recordings.”
In November, Amazon announced it would roll out a new toolbox that will make it easier to program Amazon’s Alexa into workplace applications. Applications include using Alexa to enter conference calls or adding data to enterprise-focused sales programs. It would also add more personalized features, like an enterprise security capable of both identifying and verifying various people using the app in a single workplace.